Chronic inflammation is associated with disease risk and mortality in the general population. Soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) is a stable marker of chronic inflammation, and a higher serum-concentration of suPAR is found in individuals with an unhealthy lifestyle such as smoking. This article investigates the association between suPAR and dietary quality measured with the dietary quality score (DQS). The DQS is an index of the overall quality of an individual’s dietary habits assessed through a self-administered FFQ. Furthermore, this article investigates the association of both suPAR and the DQS with CVD risk and mortality in the general Danish population. We analysed 5347 individuals aged 30–60 years from the Danish Inter99 study cohort. Multiple linear regression analyses showed a linear inverse association between the DQS and suPAR (P=0·0005). Cox regression analyses showed an 18 (95 % CI 9, 26) % increase in the risk of death from any cause with each 1 ng/ml increase in suPAR. We found no significant association between the DQS and the mortality (hazard ratio: 1·16, 95 % CI 0·79, 1·69). All analyses were adjusted for demographics and lifestyle factors. The association between the DQS and suPAR on the one hand and suPAR and mortality on the other supports the argument that low dietary quality may constitute a health risk through its influence on chronic inflammation. Future research should examine whether suPAR is modifiable through changes in dietary habits.